Dec 10 through Dec 29, 2010
Enters Shadow: Nov 22, 2010 @ 20 degrees Sagittatius
Stationary Retrograde: Dec 10, 2010 @ 06 degrees Capricorn
Stationary Direct: Dec 29, 2010 @ 20 degrees Sagittarius
Leaves Shadow: Jan 17, 2011 @ 06 degrees Capricorn
Mercury retrograde occurs, roughly, every three months, and designates a three week time band in which the “normal” flow of daily activities are interrupted and or rerouted in directions diametrically opposed to a linear perception of time. In other words, it is often a time of frustration for most people because many of us are in a state of future orientation, that is, not in the present moment, but rather living out or projecting other moments that have yet to come into existence. Mercury retrograde is a natural archetypal process whose function serves to reroute the collective mental consciousness into a state of introspection and revision. This has the effect of “looking back” as opposed to forward. All mental processes that have been formulating for the past three months, have now reached a point, in which their basic mechanics must be re-evaluated to ensure their success. This manifests within a multitude of formations such as the mechanical failure or interruption of various machinery, to the setback or delay in plans that have been formulating for several weeks. Again, the function serves to correct any imbalance or potential malfunction that could interrupt the successful execution in the future, and so this is a natural time in which to take a “second look” and to make sure everything is in its proper place.
It’s quite common for something to come to a head around this time, and the ego is very tempted to push us forward, however, nature intends otherwise. It would be very wise to take a few steps back and rework your plan or direction, because the universe fully supports it! If you learn to work with the Mercury retrograde cycle as opposed to against it, you’ll find that these times will be much less stressful than is often the case. Mercury retrograde is often touted as a time of mishaps and “misfortunes”, causing many to look at it with apprehension and dread. The truth of the matter is that, astrological events don’t cause things to happen, but rather correlate with the unfolding of circumstances directly linked to our own unconscious. Whatever misfortunes we experience at this time are signs from the unconscious heeding us to pay closer attention to something. The function for such mishaps are to reroute us into another direction so that we are further aligned with our evolutionary path. The more we fight this process, the more difficult the cycle will be perceived. Another function of Mercury retrograde is to make adjustments to our basic ideologies or to simply change our perspective on something. As a result, it is best to keep an open mind and to be as receptive as possible to incoming feedback or information, as it is likely to have a powerful impact on our consciousness. Follow any intuition that urges you to go BACK to something that you may have overlooked, you’ll now find it perfectly useful within your present circumstances.
Mercury retrograde seems to take effect through a gradient shift, known as the shadow period. A shadow period is simply when Mercury moves through the area of the zodiac that it will retrograde back through. Mercury first entered the shadow on November 22nd and then goes retrograde on Dec 10th. Pay close attention to events that have transpired between this band of time, as they will play a crucial role in what will be adjusted or worked on over the next three weeks. The second shadow period, Dec 29th through Jan 17, 2011 designates a period in which the process “wraps up” and comes to a close, which will follow a gradual receding of the effects. Keep an open mind, and a flexible schedule, and most of all expect the unexpected!
To further understand this retrograde cycle I like to look towards the degree in which Mercury goes stationary retrograde, and study the Sabian symbol for that specific degree (click here to learn more about Sabian symbols). The symbol for 6 degrees of Capricorn reads:
“Ten logs lie under an archway leading to darker woods”
Dane Rudhyar, in his infamous book, “An Astrological Mandala: The Cycle of Transformations and It’s 360 Symbolic Phases”, has this to say about the symbol:
“The need to complete any undertaking before seeking entrance to whatever is to be found beyond. Number 10 is a symbol of completion; it symbolizes even more the revelation of a new series of activities just ahead. Yet unless the concluded series is brought to some degree of fulfillment, nothing truly significant is likely to be accomplished by a restless reaching out toward the as-yet-unknown. Number 10 is a symbol of germination, but the seed (Number 9) must have matured well. No natural process can be accelerated safely beyond certain limits. Here man reaches a THRESHOLD in which he may have to pause in order to safeguard his further advance”
This is an intriguing symbol indeed, further exemplifying the need to pause and complete something before pushing forward, and to not push something beyond its own natural limitations. I find the notion of a threshold equally fascinating, given the energy that surrounds us at this present moment in time. Keep an eye out for my next blog post shortly, as I’ll cover current events and their correlation to this point. The basic premise is that at this juncture, the collective consciousness is experiencing a threshold, a barrier or gateway, to another perception of reality. However you want to label this threshold does not matter, but looking into your own lives you will likely find this symbolism to be very prominent. Further empowering this retrograde cycle is Mercury’s position in conjunction to the stellium between the North Node, Pluto, and Mars in Capricorn. Mercury will retrograde (move backwards) through this energy, and then will direct and pass through it once more. I believe this retrograde is in complete synchronicity with the culmination of a very powerful evolutionary process that is unfolding before us, which I will further delineate in my next post. This evolutionary process is being activated directly into our own mental consciousness via Mercury’s passage, creating a bridge between powerful, yet subtle, cosmic forces and our own personal and mundane realities.
With that aside for now, this powerful conjunction in Capricorn is urging all of us to take responsibility for our own lives, to leave the past behind, and to bravely step into the unknown as powerful warriors of planet earth. This is a time in which many structures are failing, many systems are collapsing, and the future may seem bleak and uncertain. The beauty of it all, if you can see it, is that it’s all apart of the unfolding, an unfolding that the cosmos so eloquently describes through vivid symbolism. Pluto’s transit through Capricorn is working to tear down what no longer supports the structure, and to replace it with more sustainable forms, a process that will continue on into 2024 (Pluto entered Capricorn in 2008). The conjunction with the North Node is further enhancing this energy, along with the activation of two Eclipses that have, and will, occur within this axis. What falls away at this time has outlived its usefulness and is at this point, stagnating further growth and evolution. Let what needs to die go at this time, let it pass through this threshold, and a powerful rebirth and transmutation will be waiting at the end. Pluto’s transit through Capricorn is uncovering the dark and hidden side of the world’s structures, which includes governmental institutions and big business corporations. This has the effect of popularizing various conspiracies, revealing the truth about “what’s really going on”, which likely has much validity as long as it isn’t taken too far. Pluto likes to take things to the extreme, so it is highly important to keep oneself in check from getting too obsessed or involved in uncovering “the truth”. This energy also has the potential to push those with power to the edge, creating the delusion that they can overpower and manipulate nature for their own means. On the light side, this energy is urging us to step into our power and full potential as human beings, to take responsibility for the collective destiny, to build a greater awareness of our effect on the environment, and to build more sustainable structures for the future of humanity.
This retrograde Mercury passes through both Capricorn and Sagittarius, crossing the powerful cardinal point (or Aries Point) at zero degrees of Capricorn. This retrograde is all about restructuring our lives, receiving a larger and more broader perspective, and really taking a good hard look at what is or isn’t working. Mercury’s retreat into Sagittarius on Dec 18 will shift this focus from the structural details themselves, into a desire to gain deeper clarity and understanding of the situation as a whole. Mercury retrograde in Sagittarius will allow us to really connect to the truth of a situation, so that we can see more clearly where we are headed. This is also potentially a very spiritually influential retrograde, in which we will have a greater opportunity to connect to our higher selves and our innate intuition. As with all Mercury retrograde cycles, stay flexible and be open to revision of all kinds. If you can go with the flow of this powerful energy, you will likely find it less stressful than need be.